Feature phones are a hugely important tech gadget in emerging countries, like India. The simple devices may not have uber cool features like touchscreens and gaming, yet they will soon have internet speeds and that too a lot faster. Global tech giant Qualcomm has said that it will bring 4G connectivity on entry-level devices, which essentially feature phones. This move by Qualcomm has been aimed at users in countries in Latin America and South East Asia, as most of the countries there are developing economies and there is a huge population which do not have access to even cheap smartphones. According to latest reports, the telecom equipment company Qualcomm rolled out the Qualcomm 205. It is a chipset which can be used to make 4G feature phones. The phones will expectedly be priced under $50 or Rs 3,500 per device.
Qualcomm has partnered with various vendors including Reliance Jio, Micromax, Borqs, Megaphone, Flextronics. These companies are reportedly planning to sell their 4G feature phones in the country. Qualcomm Technologies Vice President for Product Management Kedar Kondap said, “Careers (telecom operators) will look at migrating their 2G customer to 4G because maintaining 2G is becoming more expensive. There will be devices (4G feature phones) in the market in the second quarter in sub-USD 50 range.”
The features phones, after getting the 4G LTE connectivity, will get internet speeds up to 150 Mbps. The phones are also expected to contain camera of 3 megapixels on the front and rear end of the device. It might also have Dual SIM capability and video streaming capacity. The devices will still have a VGA display and Linux-based operating system.
This move is going to be great for you in India, as it is here that the company is planning to initiate this move. Kondap said,”We are using India as launch platform but there are other regions who are interested. The chipsets have been already shipped to various vendors in many countries.”
Faster, reliable mobile service is a boon for developing regions’ small businesses as well, as the quicker connectivity enables better service to process financial transactions, and many other things. Another great thing is that feature phones have a higher battery life than smartphones because of fewer features.
This is a great time for feature ‘dumb’ phones as global mobile giant Nokia recently relaunched its 3310 devices. In India, Reliance Jio is expected to launch a feature phone as well.